Record turnout enjoys North District Hill champs at Craig Dunain

Tuesday 19th March 2024

The Men’s podium at North Hill Champs

Hill Running: your guide to busy season ahead

Highland Hill Runners (HHR) kindly agreed to host the North District Hill Champs race at Craig Dunain on Saturday.

A record turnout of 117 Seniors and 25 Juniors enjoyed blue skies and great conditions underfoot.

At the gun East Sutherland ACs Ross Gollan executed his trademark fast start and quickly opened up a 50m lead.

A strong chasing pack was gradually whittled down to Rob Sinclair (HHR), Phil Volkes (HHR) and Alasdair Coupar (East Sutherland) who battled hard for the podium spots.

Ross duly set a new course record in 37:17 ahead of Rob and Alasdair. HHR took team gold with three of the top five, Rob and Alasdair being joined by John Yells on debut for HHR.

Despite strong finishes from their first two runners, neither East Sutherland nor Deeside had three SA members so missed out on potential team medals. In testament to the strength of the field, the first six men all finished inside the previous course record of 39:40.

Dan Rowe-Leete, Javier Cabrera Valdes and Waldek Kroulec all of HHR took the SA medals in the MV40 race. Robin Burnett took MV50 gold for Inverness Harriers whilst David Weir (Forres Harriers) and Jimmy Stewart (Lochaber AC) won the MV60 & MV70 respectively.


Women’s medallists at the North District Hill Champs

In the Women’s race, the early leaders were Catriona Graves and Georgia Tindley, both back from the recent Trans Gran Canaria race.

The fatigue impacted and they were overtaken by an in-form Sarah Hodgson who went on to take the win in a new course record of 45:05.

Catriona and Helen Leigh made it a HHR 1-2-3 thus securing the district team gold medal. Deeside’s Jill Stephen took the FV40 gold ahead of Alice Scriven, Inverness Harriers, and Steph Proven, also Deeside.

Ruth Mackenzie of Deeside took FV50 gold and helped Deeside secure team silver. Linda Smith of Moray Road Runners took FV60 Gold with Inverness Harriers Katie Meek taking the FU23 gold.


Hill running in the north is in a great place just now and with Craig Dunain forming the basis for Inter-Counties selection, it is hoped a number of athletes will make the trip to Keswick next month.

Many thanks to Caroline Marwick and all of HHR for the warm welcome, organisation and refreshments.

Without their willingness to volunteer their Saturday we wouldn’t have races to run so please do thank the marshals next time you pass one on race day.

James Espie, North District Rep.


Senior Men: 1 Ross Gollan East Sutherland AC; 2 Rob Sinclair HHR; 3 Alasdair Cooper East Sutherland AC

Senior Women: 1 Sarah Hodgson HHR; 2 Catriona Graves HHR; 3 Helen Leigh HHR

Men V40: 1 Dan Rowe-Leete HHR; 2 Javier Cabrera Valdes HHR; 3 Waldek Krogulec HHR

Women V40: 1 Jill Stephen Deeside Runners; 2 Alice Scriven Inverness Harriers; 3 Stephanie Provan Deeside Runners

Men V50: 1 Robin Burnett Inverness Harriers

Women V50: 1 Ruth MacKenzie Deeside Runners

Men V60: 1 Davd Weir Forres Harriers

Women V60: 1 Linda Smith Moray RR

Men V70: 1 Jimmy Stewart Lochaber AC

Women U23: 1 Katie Meek HHR


Men’s Team: Highland Hill Runners

Women’s Team: Highland Hill Runners


Tags: hill running, North District Hill Champs

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